2020 Page Up Annual Conference

Our Time to Step Up: Navigating the New, New Normal It turns out the “new normal” is actually pretty weird. Take a look around you. Would your current reality even be recognizable to you a year ago? You’re probably working in a home office or wearing a mask right now. You might feel like you need a neck brace from the whiplash-inducing American election cycle. You might even be seeing systemic racism in a new light following the tragically consciousness-raising injustice against racial minorities in the United States. If part of our role as communications professionals is to manage how our organizations are perceived, we need to muster confidence in our own perception of reality. All the more so amidst a media landscape of censure-worthy tweets, degraded institutional trust and business leaders crossing a daily gulf of reputational thin ice. For many of us, our roles gained new significance in 2020 as the senior-most leaders in our organizations called upon Communications to lead in times of crisis and ambiguity. Our input may never have been more needed nor more valued. How have you availed yourself of the opportunity? How will you meet this moment? When the going gets weird, will Page Up members step up?
  The registration fee breakdown is tiered based upon your membership type.
  • Corporate or Agency: $300
  • Nonprofit or Government: $225
  • Educator: $150
Cancellation Policy If you change your mind about attending, our policy is to refund 50% of the conference fee if canceled 31 days in advance of the scheduled start of the event. Please direct all registration questions to Nicole Graney.



All times are written in Eastern Time, unless otherwise noted.

6:00 –
7:00 a.m. 
Happy Hour Discussion

Sip and share best practices with fellow Page Up members during this special happy hour discussion hosted by Christina Pantin, head of communications, Asia, for Block One and Ian Herbison, CEO & co-founder of Speyside Group. 

In a world that has been reshaped by COVID-19, we’ll discuss how you can build trust and enhance reputation through digital stakeholder engagement strategies and reinforcing your organization’s purpose.

Given the restrictions on face to-face interaction, we’ll explore how your enterprise can build meaningful connections with employees, media, government and other internal and external stakeholders. Together, we’ll also discuss best practices for building remote teams and reinforcing corporate culture, purpose and values throughout each employee’s journey within your organization. 

The timing of this happy hour is optimized for members based in the Asia-Pacific, but all are welcome. This session is at 7 p.m. in Hong Kong, 8 p.m. in Japan and 10 p.m. in Sydney.

10:10 – 10:25 a.m. Welcome | Overview of Day 

Conference Co-Chair TR Straub, Consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. Living Through & Learning from Dynamic Political Discourse

Poppy MacDonald, President of USAFacts

Joel Johnson, Managing Director of The Glover Park Group

Millie Tran, Chief Product Officer at The Texas Tribune

Dave Wasserman, U.S. House Editor at Cook Political Report

We’re all doing business during tumultuous political times. Organizations – including their people, products, services, and business interests – are increasingly wary of and beholden to political discourse. When our enterprises are called to step up during times of political polarization, communicators are charged with developing cohesive, authentic corporate messaging that brings all of our stakeholders along. In this session, we’ll explore what we have learned so far about the impact of dynamic political discourse on organizations and what’s yet to come.

11:20 – 11:45 a.m.  The State of the Media: News Echo-Chambers, Types of Influence and the Challenge of Misinformation

Amy Mitchell, Senior Director of Journalism Research at Pew Research Center 

Take a tour of the current state of the news media with Amy Mitchell, Senior Director of Journalism Research at Pew Research Center. Throughout this dynamic session, we’ll look at the Center’s findings about how people get their news, who they actually trust and how that connects to differing views of reality.

11:50 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.  The Media Ecosystem in 2021: Trust and Reputation Fight Back

Robert Traynham, Head of Public Affairs at Facebook

Ariana Pekary, Public Editor at the Columbia Journalism Review 

Moderated by Dan Morrison, VP of Communications at Pew Research Center

How will local news develop when it’s in more demand, and is more trusted, even as revenues fall? What is the broader impact of social platforms taking more definitive action to fight misinformation? And what happens when social influencers proclaim themselves journalists and journalists proclaim themselves social influencers? As consumer mindshare is dominated by new types of earned and paid media models; the clash between news consumption and dollars supporting the news; and new types of media, such as podcasts and local news, corporate communications will be changed forever. This session will look at what shifts to expect in 2021 and what skills, data and foresight will be needed to understand how to navigate the evolving media ecosystem.

1:00 –
2:00 p.m.
Happy Hour Discussion

Sip and share with fellow Page Up members during this special happy hour discussion hosted by Sam Hall, director of EMEA communications at ServiceNow. 

As we navigate the new, new normal together at the 2020 Page Up Annual Conference, this happy hour is an opportunity to discuss what “normality” even looks like through the lens of globalization and changing levels of stakeholder trust.

Specifically, we’ll dive into the nuances of Europe and the Middle East as a region and how global organizations can lead with culture and heritage in mind. Then, we’ll talk about other factors at the intersection between trust and reputation that drive belief in business and institutions and how you can measure their impact.

The timing of this happy hour is optimized for members based in Europe and the Middle East, but all are welcome. This session is at 6 p.m. in London, 7 p.m. in Amsterdam and 10 p.m. in Abu Dhabi.



All times are written in Eastern Time, unless otherwise noted.

5:00 –
6:00 p.m. 
Happy Hour Discussion

Sip and share with fellow Page Up members during this special happy hour discussion hosted by Evan Kraus, APCO Worldwide and Sherry Scott, formerly with Gagen MacDonald. 

When you join, we’ll dive into a dynamic discussion about how organizations are planning for upcoming political transitions. Then, we’ll also explore how communications teams can manage, prepare for and combat challenges related to misinformation in the 2021 political climate.

The timing of this happy hour is optimized for members based in the Americas, but all are welcome. This session is at 2 p.m. in San Francisco and 4 p.m. in Chicago.



All times are written in Eastern Time, unless otherwise noted.

10:00 – 10:10 a.m. Welcome | Overview of Day 
10:10 – 10:20 a.m.  Innovation Award Presentation 
10:25 – 11:10 a.m. Finding the Bridge From Exhaustion to Excellence, From Fatigue to The Future: Our Role As Leaders

Brickson Diamond, CEO of Big Answers LLC

Nick Propper, CEO of Impact Human Performance

Amanda Kowal Kenyon, Chief Organizational Effectiveness Officer at Ketchum

Lisa Ross, COO of Edelman

Moderated by Mike Doyle, President and CEO of Ketchum

In the earliest days and weeks of the pandemic, we were crafting crisis statements, sorting work-from-home protocols and ensuring our teams were equipped with Zoom accounts. Soon after, the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police was released, reanimating the Black Lives Matter movement. These events fueled widespread corporate focus on committing to necessary strategic work around DE&I and employee engagement against the backdrop of growing public health and economic crises. 

Now, we’re planning for 2021 with little clarity on what might be around the corner. As leaders of people and stewards of reputation, the stakes have never been higher, and we’ve never been more exhausted. 


In this session, we’ll examine three key themes around “pandemic fatigue.” 

First, our panel will address what’s happening: why we are so fatigued, how Black people and people of color are being impacted by (and coping with) mental health challenges that were heightened by social unrest and how we can address the root causes. Second, we’ll look at what we can do about it by taking a look at expert recommendations for what pathways toward recovery should look like. Third, we’ll think strategically about the communications fatigue that may have set in among workforces that have been deluged by our emails, company announcements, CEO podcasts, return to work protocols and the rest of our well-intentioned content. Looking toward the future, we’ll cover more effective stakeholder engagement methods.

11:10 – 11:40 a.m. Risk, Reward and Achieving More: An Interview with Frank X. Shaw

Frank X. Shaw, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft 

Moderated by Yanique Woodall, Senior Director of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at The Home Depot 

When the pandemic hit the United States, Microsoft was one of the first employers to issue a work from home order to tens of thousands of employees. Then, as the health crisis merged with socio-political and economic ones, Microsoft had to dig even deeper to fulfill its mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. During this interview, we’ll cover how Microsoft has been navigating the pandemic from a communications perspective, the tech industry’s impact on the current political climate and how communicators can keep up with the rapidly evolving world of influence.

11:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Page Up Annual Business Meeting 

Page Up Chair Marjorie Benzkofer, Chief Strategy Officer, FleishmanHillard

Tom Martin, Professional Development Committee Chair, College of Charleston 

Dan Strouhal, Chief Operating Officer, Page

The seventh annual business meeting of the Page Up membership. During this meeting, attendees will learn about recent work, vote on governance issues and help to refine and guide the future direction of Page Up.

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.  The Rise of the Cancel Culture Phenomenon and Its Impact on Reputation Management

Zeeshan Aleem, Reporter at Vice and Vox

Jon Schwartz, SVP of Communications & Public Affairs at the NFL

Moderated by Ted Birkhahn, President of Hot Paper Lantern

Cancel culture is “the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive,” according to Dictionary.com. With the rapid increase of disinformation and the speed at which all news spreads on social media, brands and individuals face significant reputational risk when they become a target of a cancel movement– warranted or not. 

This session will explore the evolution of the cancel culture phenomenon and the strategies, tools and techniques that professional communicators must deploy to protect and defend brands and individuals who find themselves in the crosshairs of social media fury. 

12:30 – 

1:30 p.m.

Your Choice | Interactive Breakout Sessions

Attendees have the opportunity to participate in two out of three breakout sessions. Participate in your first choice between 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. then your second choice between 1:00 – 1:30 pm.

Managing Ourselves and Our Organizations in a Reset World

Hillary Goodman, Senior Consultant at Gagen MacDonald

Patricia Bayerlein, Executive Director at Gagen MacDonald

As our companies operate against the backdrop of a global pandemic and massive societal change, a new reality is emerging. Disruption that seemed like a sprint is proving to be a marathon. With no end in sight, we are at immense risk of burnout as we struggle to balance work and life demands. Amid disruption, we must tend to both our own well-being and that of those we are charged to lead.

Take Measure of the Moment

Ethan McCarty, CEO of Integral Communications

John Buchholz, Consultant at Integral Communications 

We all began 2020 having solidified our KPIs for the year, locking in such measurements as boosting employee engagement, improving perceptions of our brands, and driving share of voice, among other operational and business results we thought we would deliver.

But 2020 has been anything but traditional. As our pivot came fast and furious, we really didn’t have time to reset our measurements. And yet, we were asked to deliver different things. How will you claim success for 2020? We need to identify our outcomes as it is unlikely we will be going back to “normal” for most of 2021, if ever. 

Join your peers as we explore how they have been thinking about measuring in a world where measurements have to be reset.

Diversity & Inclusion: Are We Doing Enough?

Conference Co-Chair TR Straub, Consultant, Russell Reynolds Associates

Carol Watson, Chief Inclusion Officer, BCW Global

Operating as a leader and manager – not only a communications functional expert – with DEI in mind is a non-negotiable. Join us for a workshop focused on ensuring that you are managing your direct and indirect teams with equitable talent management and inclusive leadership at the forefront.



All times are written in Eastern Time, unless otherwise noted.

5:00 –
5:30 p.m. 
An Intimate Performance with Sing for Hope

Kathryn Allison, performer from Sing for Hope

Sing for Hope harnesses the power of the arts to create a better world. Their creative programs bring hope, healing and connection to millions of people in hospitals, schools, refugee camps, transit hubs, independent living centers and community spaces worldwide. 

Please join your fellow Page Up members for this unique and special “BYOB” experience with Broadway artist Kathryn Allison who will sing a couple of songs and participate in an active Q&A following her performance. 



All times are written in Eastern Time, unless otherwise noted.

10:00 – 10:10 a.m. Welcome | Overview of Day 
10:15 – 11:05 a.m. The COVID-19 Reset: From Uncertainty to Preparation and Leadership

Rebecca Kelley, Communications Director in the Office of Governor Phil Scott, State of Vermont

Elizabeth Penniman, Chief Public Affairs Officer at the American Red Cross

Tim Storey, Executive Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures

Moderated by Barie Carmichael, Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate Business School and member of the APCO Worldwide team

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on humanity goes beyond the physical – it also spread a disease of fear and uncertainty throughout the world. In this session, we’ll learn how one of the world’s leading humanitarian aid organizations prepares an agile response to worldwide crises. Then, we’ll dig into ways in which business is resetting expectations to help leaders look toward the future.

11:10 – 12:00 p.m. Responding to Multi-Dimensional Social Issues

Allyn Brooks-LaSure, Chief Communications Officer at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Farah Stockman, Journalist at the New York Times

Zain Habboo, Chief Marketing & Mobilization Officer of the International Rescue Committee

Moderated by Emil Hill, SVP of Weber Shandwick

Social issues are complicated, overlapping and increasingly front and center. COVID-19 has shed light on existing systemic healthcare and economic inequities; climate change disproportionately impacts global communities of color; the LGBTQ population faces different challenges country-by-country, and state-by-state in the U.S.; and the list goes on. Explore how communicators can navigate this complexity and put manageable, values-aligned frameworks in place during this session.

12:00 – 12:10 p.m.  Break
12:10 –
1:00 p.m. 
The New Normal: Stepping Up as Business Leaders

Aaron Radelet, Global CCO and SVP of the Walgreens Boot Alliance

Torod Neptune, CCO of Lenovo 

Moderated by Conference Co-Chair Steve Halsey, Chief Growth Officer at G&S Business Communications

In a time of change, people are looking for identity, purpose, belonging and someone to show them the way forward.  Your C-Suite, employees and stakeholders are looking to you for answers.  In this final session of the 2020 Page Up Annual Conference, we’ll hone in on  the skillset, drive, empathy, passion, vision and business expertise required to step up and lead as we navigate the new, new normal together.

1:00 – 1:10 p.m. Closing Remarks 


WHEN December 2-4, 2020

TIME 6:00am-6:00pm